Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Liquid Cooling Goes Mainstream with HP Z800

Quietly and without much fanfare, Hewlett Packard began offering liquid cooling on its Z-series workstations. Liquid cooling kits have been around for years, usually as after-market options for overclockers. With HP offering it as a standard item, liquid cooling becomes less of "living on the edge" gaming affair, and more of a mainstream option, albeit for expensive top shelf models of their workstations.

While there seem to be no pre-configured models with liquid cooling kits installed, the Z800 "configure your own model" page has two options under "Thermal Kit": "HP Air Cooling Solution [Add $1], and "HP Liquid Cooling Solution [Add $250]". The latter is only supported with "High Power" processors, Intel models W5580 (3.2GHz) and W5590 (3.33GHz).

A brief trip to Google uncovered a great article on ComputerWorld that was just posted yesterday. Besides reducing power-sapping heat, liquid cooling serves another purpose that is critical for workstations: reducing fan noise. According to the article, the noise is cut down by 8 dB under heavy load (from 38 to 30 dB), and this is a big deal for those of us who don't enjoy monotonous and often annoying fan humming.

A well configured base liquid-cooled Z800 workstation will only run you $10,698.00. Peanuts for those of us who appreciate quietness. Here are the specs:

HP Z800 Workstation FF825AV-PR800
• Genuine Windows Vista® Business 64-bit
• HP Z800 1110W 89% Efficient Chassis
• 2 Intel® Xeon® W5580 3.20GHz 8MB/1333 QC CPUs
• HP Liquid Cooling Solution
• HP 24GB (12x2GB) DDR3-1333 ECC RAM (Dual Processor)
• HP NVIDIA Quadro FX3800 1GB Graphics
• HP 300GB SAS 15K 1st HDD
• HP SATA Blu-Ray Writer
• HP 3 year standard warranty
$10,698.00 (buy it from DV411)

Availability: HP usually ships "configure your own" models within 1-2 weeks.

Additional information:

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